When Dean Wilson was re-elected Sheriff of Del Norte County in November 2010, he swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution and the California Constitution. Certain rights afforded our citizens are well known. If you are accused of a crime, the law of our land operates under the presumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. That doesn’t seem to be the case in our fair city any longer.
Looking over copies printed out from Dean Wilson’s FACEBOOK page; he posts a picture, makes some comments about their crime(s) and lets his Facebook “friends” imagination ignite and run rampant in self-induced rage. The obvious problem is that Mr. Wilson may be wrong. The more serious problem is that as Sheriff, it is downright ludicrous and dangerous that he would stoop to this methodology; sowing seeds of vigilante-ism. Why wait for the court system, when Facebook friends of Dean Wilson can go out and harass. The danger of these self-appointed vigilantes is that they sometimes go after innocent people.
People charged with a crime but awaiting trial should not have to be subjected to this type of treatment. People convicted of a crime, having served their sentence and now integrating back into society as an honest, law abiding productive member, trying to keep on the straight and narrow, should not have to be subjected to this. What have we become? Communist Russia? Nazi Germany? The KKK?
Recently, a local council member had to get involved to protect a constituent. Faced with daily crises due to the constituents friendship with one of those that Wilson targeted on his FACEBOOK pages, her life was becoming endangered. The Sheriff’s office was not responding and refusing to respond to calls for help. The Council member had to enlist the aid of the city’s Police Chief Doug Plack. Fortunately, Plack takes his job seriously, was immediately responsive, and promised to respond to pleas for help when calls came in.
One theory behind this new Facebook assault of Wilson’s is “distraction.” People of the public are asking about Sheriff Wilson’s oversight in the case of former Deputy Sheriff Joe Garcia. Garcia was arrested on multiple charges, convicted and spent a New York minute incarcerated. Garcia abused his position with the public. The public now questions how long Sheriff Wilson knew about Garcia breaking the law and looking the other way.
If you’ve ever been unjustly accused, you’ll remember why it’s so important to have the assurance of innocent until proven guilty and following the rule of law. Dean Wilson may not be breaking any laws as an individual putting this type of crap on his FACEBOOK page. But in the name of decency and fairness, he crossed the line because of his oath to office.